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East L.A. College's Siu Suet Li
East L.A. College's Siu Suet Li nears the finish line in the Golden West Invite, Friday, Sept. 9, 2018. (Photo by Tadzio Garcia)

Huskies Run Past Santa Monica College, take 10th at GWC Invite

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — The East Los Angeles College men’s cross country team took 10th place at the Golden West Invitational, which had 262 runners at Central Park in Huntington Beach.

The Huskies topped Santa Monica College, who placed 11th, by seven points. Last week, Santa Monica edged ELAC by nine points. South Coast Conference rival, El Camino College, smoked the competition winning the men’s 4-mile race with a 1-2-3 finish including five of the Top-10.

“We did good overall,” said ELAC cross country head coach Kathryn Kelly. “We had intense training this week especially yesterday because from here on out we expect them to improve 30 seconds each week.”

The Huskies improved even though they ran their first difficult cross-country-101 run—a course with peaks and slopes. Freshman Daniel Morales (Bravo Medical Magnet School), an English major, finished in 22 minutes and 16 seconds edging Riverside City College freshman Nathaniel Steele by half of a second. Morales placed in the Top-20. Sophomore Allen Yeung (San Gabriel HS), who is majoring in Kinesiology, finished in the No.2 spot for ELAC and ran 23:44.7.

Freshman Justin Frias (Arroyo HS), a Fire Technology major, “showed great improvement as a result of the team’s training,” said Kelly. Frias ran 23:43.9 and outsprinted Mt. SAC freshman Isaac Abdala by 1.6 seconds. Arturo Fernandez (Applied Technology Center HS), who is majoring in Art / General Studies, sprinted the final 100 yards side-by-side with Riverside freshman Miguel Rangel and sped faster to the finish line by a second.

Rounding out the scoring for ELAC was freshman Isaac Alegandrealbizures (Vail HS), a Journalism major, who took well to climbing the hilly course and scored for ELAC for the first time this year. Alegandrealbizures finished in 25:51.1, 1.9 seconds faster than Santiago Canyon College freshman Jose Villaruel. Sophomore Business Administration major Joshua Cardenas, who has scored in each meet for the Huskies, was rooting on the sidelines for his teammates. “I wish I ran but I’ll be back in the next meet,” said Cardenas.

Three Huskies ran in a pack for most of the course. Freshmen Efren Machorro (La Causa YouthBuild Charter School of California), majoring in Architectural Drafting, finished with a faster pace the final mile and came in at No. 6 for ELAC with a time of 28:05.0. Freshman Daniel Garcia (Bell Gardens HS), a mathematics major, finished 38.9 seconds behind Machorro followed by Siu Suet Li (Barnard Castle School / England). Li ran his first college race. “My first college experience was much faster than I have raced before and I wasn’t used to the slopes,” said Li. “Our workouts are getting more intense each week so I’m looking forward to each week.”

ELAC returns to action in two weeks against 4-year university competition in the 2018 Pomona-Pitzer Invite on the Pomona College campus course. The competition for ELAC includes NCAA Division I, II and III teams as well as schools from the NAIA. The men’s race is a longer 8,000-meter (5 mile) run, Saturday, Oct. 6 and begins at 7:45 a.m.

Follow ELAC Athletics at or on Facebook at ELAC Huskies Athletics (@elachuskiesathletics).

submitted by Tadzio Garcia